Throwback Review – Christmas Edition: The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas

I read this book about two years ago. It was a sweet read.

christmas townThe Christmas Town
written by Elyse Douglas
published by Elyse Douglas

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publicist to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
I did enjoy this book. It took a little while to get hooked, but once I was, I did not want to put this book down. I think it was once I hit the halfway mark that I couldn’t stop reading. 

Jackie and Megan are seemingly different women that are both looking for love, but don’t realize it. They get swept away to a different time and end up finding true love. The women are modern women and have a difficult time adjusting to the mindset of the 1940s. It was a bit annoying because surely they understood the way it was back then. Megan is an actress that starred in various productions staged in that era. Jackie shows just how addicted we are to our technology nowadays. But they do make an effort, and I liked watching their love blossom once they meet the two young men.

The Christmas Town is a sweet, romantic, time travel story that left me with a smile and a giddy laugh at the end. Was it predictable? A bit. Did it leave me wanting more? Absolutely – in a good way and in a bad way. The story was quick and I would have liked a bit more from it. However, I wouldn’t want it any longer than it is. I don’t know if that makes much sense but this is one of those stories that I want to know more but I don’t want to read another hundred pages. Was it worth the read? You bet. I liked the little twists at the end. The book of stories was a nice touch as was the very end. 😉

everyfree3.5

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It is a sweet, romantic, Christmas book.

Will I read it again: This may not be a “read every year” book, but it will be one that I visit again.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads:
The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas, is a new time travel, mystery, romance novel that was released on October 11, 2013.

Traveling home for Christmas, two young women in their 20s are forced to drive together during a snowstorm, and they get lost. They cross a covered bridge and, suddenly, they enter the past, finding themselves in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. They meet two handsome soldiers, who are about to be sent off to war, and they fall in love with them, while also struggling to find a way to return home to their own time.

With the soldiers’ help, on Christmas Eve, the two women finally have one chance to return to their own time, but they are caught between their love for the soldiers, and their desire to return to the present. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens.

efchappy

 

Throwback Review – Christmas Edition: A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I just read this book last Christmas. I’ll have to read it again next Christmas.

 
A Lancaster County ChristmasA Lancaster County Christmas
written by Suzanne Woods Fisher
published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I love Amish fiction. It has been quite a long time since I have read an Amish fiction book. I wanted an uplifting, happy, heartwarming Christmas book and that is what I got. A Lancaster County Christmas delivered a great story of hope, happiness, and perseverance.

I really enjoy the stories where the Amish learn from the English and the English learn from the Amish. Both have great lessons. Both have value. Both need each other in some circumstances. The main circumstance in this book had me on the edge of my seat. I kept hoping for a good outcome. I kept praying that it would end right. Both of the women in A Lancaster County Christmas were missing something and looking for peace and direction. Their journey is worth the read.

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Would I recommend it: If you are an Amish fiction fan, and you like heartwarming Christmas stories, you should check this one out.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do–in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they’ve drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for–news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn’t likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home–and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

 

 

efchappy

Throwback Review — Christmas Edition: The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas books. I try to read it every Christmas. My neighborhood book group is reading it this month.

This review originally appeared on EFC on December 3, 2011.

 

The Christmas Train
written by David Baldacci
published by Grand Central Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I did. I always do. It is definitely a book that I read every free chance I get. This book has love, adventure, criminal activity, near tragedy, and it takes place at Christmas time. What more can you ask for?

The snake incident towards the end of the first half of the book always gives me a big chuckle.

The author has a good way of depicting his characters in this book. Not everyone is who they appear to be. That adds so much to this story that seems like it should be simple. Tom meets some interesting characters: Agnes Joe, a rather large woman who is one of my favorite characters especially when she elbows Tom right onto his back; Regina, a sweet woman who works for Amtrak on the Capitol Limited; Misty, the eccentric fortune teller; Father Kelly, the retired priest; Gordon Merryweather, the loud obnoxious attorney; Herrick Higgins, the laid off Amtrak train engineer; Roxanne, a loud and wonderful train worker on the Southwest Chief who is also one of my favorites. This is just a few of the many characters that formulate this story.

The only downside of this book is long descriptions about the train engines, the history of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), and the detailed weather information for they are sometimes too long and not needed. These tend to make the book drag on those parts. But once you get past those, all is good. (They are short passages, but drag nonetheless.)

The revelation at the end is my absolute favorite. I never see it coming. Even though I have read this book every year, it still gets me by surprise and gives me the biggest smile.

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Would I recommend it: Yes, absolutely.

 

chrissysig

About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: Tom Langdon is a seasoned war correspondent who is now writing non-war related pieces. After an unfortunate experience with airport security, he is relegated to non-air travel for two years within the continental US. FUN! So, he decides to take a train ride across the country to visit his girlfriend for Christmas. And on this ride, he is going to write a story. Shocking, considering he is a writer.

The first leg of the trip, on the Capitol Limited, takes Tom Langdon from Washington, D.C. to Chicago. It starts as a fairly uneventful trip until he realizes that his ex-girlfriend..the one that go away…is on board the same train. Not only that, but her “boss”, the legendary film director Max Powers, forces the two ex-lovers to join forces in writing Tom’s story and Eleanor’s movie script about a train ride across the country. Of course, Eleanor is none too happy to see Tom. And Tom realizes the mistake he made letting Ellie out of his life.

During this first leg, Tom learns a lot about people and train travel. But while the train is a place where most people lose their inhibitions to an extent, it seems that it is also an ideal place for crime. A theft epidemic occurs and just about everyone on board is hit. Tom is also coaxed into being the best man for Steve who is planning on marrying his fiance, Julie, on the Southwest Chief. Steve’s parents do not approve of the marriage and at one point, when Steve is ready to call it off, Tom lays in to him with a speech that he could have said to himself when he let Eleanor get away.

The second leg of the trip, on the Southwest Chief, will take Tom from Chicago to Los Angeles. This leg is much, much more eventful. The thief also boards this train and more thefts occur. Eleanor, Max, Agnes, Misty, Father Kelly, and Kristobal are also on the Southwest Chief. Tom and his travel companions meet Roxanne, a member of the Southwest Chief crew. She is loud, a fantastic singer, and a great leader.

During this trip, a vicious snow storm is brewing and will hit the Southwest Chief’s path. Herrick Higgins is on board the Chief and he knows that the weather is not good and there will be trouble. The young couple, Steve and Julie, get married. Tom is the best man and Eleanor is the maid of honor. The wedding goes off without a hitch and it is a rocking good time thanks to Max and Roxanne.

While on the Raton Pass, the avalanche hits. Will they survive? Will the train plummet down the mountain side? What will happen to Tom and Eleanor?

I’m not going to spoil it for you. Read it…you will like it.

efchappy

Throwback Thursday Review — Christmas Edition: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

This month, we will be sharing some of our favorite Christmas reads from the past. And I started with one of my favorites, Skipping Christmas. This review first appeared on EFC in 2013 with reviews from me and Belinda.


Skipping Christmas is one of my favorites, and I’m hoping to read it again this year!



skipping christmasSkipping Christmas
written by John Grisham
published by Double Day

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: My book group read this for December’s Christmas Party.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I always do. I looked at my copy and I first read it in 2001. I know I have read it almost every year since then.

The Kranks are your typical family who tends to go a bit over-the-top at Christmas. When Luther, the accountant, goes over the numbers, he realizes that with the money they spend on Christmas they could go on a cruise and still have money left over. So begins the Kranks attempt at skipping Christmas. It is a great idea, in theory.

Skipping Christmas is such a fun read. It is light, funny, quick, and always gives me a good laugh. I think at one point or another everyone thinks about skipping Christmas. After reading this book, you won’t want to. It just isn’t worth it. But this book will make you laugh out loud.

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely!

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Did I enjoy this book: I did.

There’s an old cliché about how one phone call can change everything.  Too bad no one told Nora and Luther, our main characters, about the old saying. If only they’d have known, their story might have been very different.

Nora and Luther are cute caricatures of typical Americans who get carried away during the last month of every year. With their nest recently empty of any reason to believe in Santa, miserly Luther decides Christmas is too expensive. He and his wife will skip it altogether and enjoy a cruise instead.

Almost immediately they realize that skipping Christmas is harder than just going along with tradition. However, our stubborn, but lovable protagonists simply dig in and get carried away with the idea of not getting carried away by the Christmas craziness.

And it looks like they’re going to pull it off until the phone rings and the laughs begin.

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely not . . .  if you’re in public. When people see you sitting alone with your nose in a book giggling to yourself they give you funny looks and whisper to the person next to them. Or so I’ve been told. So don’t embarrass yourself. Read it alone and laugh out loud all you want.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.

 

efchappy

Throwback Review: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Here is another favorite Christmas book. I love this book! I’ve read it at least 11 or 12 times! And I laugh every time!

skipping christmasSkipping Christmas
written by John Grisham
published by Double Day

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I always do. I looked at my copy and I first read it in 2001. I know I have read it almost every year since then.

The Kranks are your typical family who tends to go a bit over-the-top at Christmas. When Luther, the accountant, goes over the numbers, he realizes that with the money they spend on Christmas they could go on a cruise and still have money left over. So begins the Kranks attempt at skipping Christmas. It is a great idea, in theory.

Skipping Christmas is such a fun read. It is light, funny, quick, and always gives me a good laugh. I think at one point or another everyone thinks about skipping Christmas. After reading this book, you won’t want to. It just isn’t worth it. But this book will make you laugh out loud.

everyfree5

Would I recommend it: Absolutely!

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.

 

efchappy